Schoolteacher Mary Kay Letourneau raped a 12-year-old student, gave birth to his child and later married him, ensuring a lifetime of notoriety long after her 7½-year jail sentence was up. That life is now over, reports CNN.
Letourneau died fairly suddenly in her home late Monday, her former attorney David Gehrke told CNN. Most of her family was with her, including Vili Fualaau, her former student and ex-husband who was giving her 24-hour care the last month of her life.
A part of the Letourneau media phenomenon was the lurid and insistent suggestion that her victim was old enough to know what he wanted. To this day, their marriage remains a mirror that reveals who in media haven't quite figured out that fucking children is rape.
People Magazine describes her as "the controversial Washington middle school teacher who began a sexual relationship with a student when he was just 12."
E! News: "Mary Kay Letourneau, the controversial public figure who made headlines for having a relationship with her then 13-year-old student, has died."
NBC News explicitly euphemizes the rape conviction as "engaging in sexual relations": "Mary Kay Letourneau, the former teacher who was convicted of 2nd-degree rape of a child after engaging in sexual relations with her then 12-year-old student, has died of cancer."
Seattle's KOMO News writes that Letourneau "made headlines in the 1990s for an affair with her underage student."
KSNV News 3 in Nevada: "Letourneau generated international headlines when she admitted to a relationship with Vili Fualaau, who was her sixth-grade student at the time."
KOAA News 5: Letourneau was "a former teacher who was sentenced for an illicit relationship with a then sixth-grade student."
And so on and so on, as if nothing has or ever will change.